Behind the Mic: “Have I Got a Deal for You…”

The teams are set for Super Bowl XLVIII – Denver vs. Seattle.

I would not think there is a tremendous number of people here on the East Coast who are passionate fans of either of these two teams. However, I would think there are a number of fans who put attending a Super Bowl on their “bucket list”. And with the game being played on the “right” coast this year at MetLife Stadium, wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity to check this one off your agenda?

Before you jump at the chance, there is one very important item you need to consider: THE COST! The cheapest seat (and probably the worst) costs $500. About 39% of the 77,500 tickets will be priced under $1,000 at face value (try to find those). By comparison, the first Super Bowl ticket cost $6; in 2001 the ticket cost $325. And, to be honest, you will probably not be able to get any of these tickets anyway. The NFL controls 25% of the tickets. These end up in the hands of their corporate sponsors. 35% of the tickets go to each of the participating teams.

And making the remaining 5% of tickets available to fans may be a myth. Josh Finkelman of New Jersey believes the NFL only makes @1% of the tickets available for purchase at face value. He feels so strongly that the NFL is gouging the average fan that he has sued them in court. He complains that about 99% of the tickets must be purchased through a middleman. He is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Even if you get a ticket, you also must consider the price of parking. That should be a little less than staying in a New York hotel. The absence of tailgating (forbidden this year) means you should be prepared to pay a week’s wages just to eat and drink inside the venue.

So, if you are still interested and really want a ticket, you can get a $2,600 ducat for the club level and this, too, will give you access to the indoor restaurants. There are $1,500 tickets that do not give you the restaurant access (so see above for additional food costs).

If this all sounds like a hassle and you are reconsidering your “bucket list”, you might want to just literally “go for broke” and consider a VIP Package. Allow me to entice you:

• (4) Upper Level Corner End Zone Super Bowl Tickets
• (4) VIP Pregame NFL Players Party Tickets which includes Hand- Passed Appetizers; Five Gourmet Food Stations prepared by a Legendary Super Chef; Multiple Top-Shelf Open Bars staged throughout the Event; Over 20 Current NFL Players introduced by our Event MC, ESPN Sports Center Anchor Lindsay Czarniak, for Sunday Chalk Talk with our Guests; and VIP Round trip Transportation to Metlife Stadium on Game day!
All-Inclusive Price for Four Guests: $14,500

If you’re like me, you have decided to invite a few friends over for some good food, good drink, and good conversation. Sit back, turn on the TV, enjoy the commercials, the game, go to bed at a decent hour, and sleep knowing you might need to revise your “bucket list” in the morning.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. I do not think the high price of a seat has anything to do with it, but Commissioner Roger Goodall will not be sitting in a luxury box for the Super Bowl. His seat will be outside in the stands. By the way, the coldest Super Bowl in history was 39 degrees for Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. That record will be broken this year.

2. With one NFL game left to pick (you’ll have to wait until next week), I finished the season guessing 66% of the games correctly. The last four weeks, I have gone 23-3 and have picked the winner the last six games. It was a good year.

3. “Omaha! Omaha!” Am I the only fan who finds Peyton Manning’s skills to be so good that they are boring? He rarely gets sacked, rarely runs, rarely throws an incomplete pass, rarely looks like he is confused by a defense, rarely throws for less than 350 yards, rarely has fewer than three TD passes, and rarely loses. He’s so consistent; it takes all the fun out of the game.

4. In contrast, I thoroughly enjoy watching Colin Kaepernick play quarterback for the 49’ers. He runs like a running back, avoids sacks like a magician, and sometimes loses. If I was a general manager, I’d rather have Peyton.

5. Ironically, the NFL Network is looking to give up its own Thursday night game broadcasts. They say their viewing audience wasn’t large enough. So ESPN, NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC and Turner Sports are expected to bid @ $800 million for the eight games.

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 2-0) (174-91-1 66%)

SUPER BOWL PICK COMING NEXT WEEK!

 

Behind the Mic – February 4th

SUPER BOWL XLVII OBSERVATIONS:

  1. How can anyone possibly watch the pre-game shows, which started at 11:00 AM? I watched from 6:00 and that was more than enough pre-game for me!
  2. The Sandy Hook Elementary School choir was outstanding and Jennifer Hudson only added to the beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
  3. Alicia Keyes is REALLY, REALLY talented, BUT can’t anyone sing the National Anthem anymore without drawing it out and adding words or notes at the end? The pace was too slow and the ending was unnecessary.
  4. I just cannot accept the sincerity of Ray Lewis or forget his past. He seems to know when the camera is on him and “acts” accordingly.
  5. Off-sides, illegal formation, interception, fumble – These early mistakes were disastrous for the 49’ers. They did not seem ready to go in the playoffs until things got desperate. Then they really turned it on.
  6. We would really be talking about the fake field goal on 4th and 9 by the Ravens if they had lost.
  7. Look closely at the missed field goal by David Akers and the subsequent penalty for “roughing the kicker”. I watched it many times. Akers fell on his own and I do not think he was even touched.
  8. Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick’s Super Bowl performances just added their names to the list of some great, young quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Kaepernick’s accuracy and arm strength are amazing. Flacco’s demeanor and skills are equally impressive.
  9. Everyone, including the CBS announcers, seemed to blame the power outage for the 49’ers comeback. Perhaps, San Francisco made some defensive halftime adjustments to limit the effectiveness of the Raven offense and figured some things out on the offensive side to combat the Raven defense.
  10. I wonder how many people turned the game off (28-6) when the outage occurred?
  11. Colin Kaepernick is adopted. His parents lost two children shortly after they were born before adopting him. It is quite a story. Check it out.
  12. The Harbaugh parents must have loved and hated the game. How could they enjoy the success of one son at the expense of the other? I hope they enjoyed Beyonce!
  13. Speaking of Beyonce, everyone at the gathering I attended to watch the game agreed her halftime show was terrific. I really liked the stage rising up from behind her and the graphics and special effects that went along with the song. She did not seem to give much acknowledgement to her roots, Destiny’s Child, however.
  14. Is pass interference pass interference no matter when it occurs during the game? Do you agree with the adage that you let the players win or lose the game? I believe non-calls often decide who does win or lose a game.
  15. With all the millions spent on Super Bowl ads, the big winner this week was TCCD International. They distribute BuckPower Antler Velvet legally to vitamin stores and Walgreens. Ray Lewis allegedly used the deer antler spray to recover from a torn bicep. And all their publicity was free!!
  16. My top five commercials were, in no particular order were:
    1. GoDaddy geek-supermodel kiss
    2. Budweiser Clydesdale reunion
    3. Audi prom story
    4. Best Buy with Amy Poehler
    5. Taco Bell’s nursing home rebellious clients
  17. I was not impressed with the:
    1. Coke Chase
    2. GoDaddy’s other commercial about coming up with new ideas
    3. E-trade’s baby spot
  18. The beer that is poured from black bottles looks like beer poured from regular glass bottles.
  19. CBS cleverly added their #1 new show, “Elementary”, to their program lineup to follow the Super Bowl. Not so clever with the power outage adding a half hour to the Super Bowl broadcast and the new show ending well past midnight. Even TiVo could not anticipate the late start. I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time.
  20. XLVIII is being held outdoors at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and it will be in February! I’m sure it seemed like such a good idea at the time.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

SEE ABOVE. I AM ALL “MUSED” OUT!


 

FINAL SUMMARY OF NFL PICKS

(Last week – 0-1)

(88-55 for the season – 62%)

Behind the Mic – January 22nd

The Bible says, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This past week, the passage from John 8:32 was put to the test by two outstanding athletes, who exhibited less than stellar actions in their athletic pursuits.

In the case of Lance Armstrong, he admitted to Oprah Winfrey that his career as the premiere cyclist in the world was a fraud. Armstrong rose to the top of his profession and deservedly garnered the adoration, admiration and acclaim of cycling fans and those of us who admire any athlete who seems to accomplish the impossible. In addition, after his bout with cancer, Armstrong was seen by virtually everyone as someone who not only overcame this setback, but worked tirelessly to help fight for a cure with one of the greatest charitable organizations, Livestrong. We, then, discovered that these accomplishments were won with the aid of performance enhancing drugs. The situation was compounded by years of lying to the governing bodies of cycling and to the adoring public, who so much wanted to believe him.

He admitted those lies in an interview with Oprah this past week. Did the “truth set him free”? Based on the reaction from the media, the admission came much too late. The overwhelming response is that Armstrong is still arrogant, barely repentant, and bitter.

In my opinion, the passage from John 8:32 should be two affirmative sentences: “You will know the truth. The truth shall set you free.” Armstrong knew the truth all along and took much too long to admit it. Going on Oprah years later will not and did not set him free.

Manti Te’o is one of the best college football players in the nation and played for Notre Dame University. By now, you know he claims to be the victim of an on-line hoax that established a relationship with a non-existent girlfriend, who later supposedly died. Here the Bible wins out. It is said Te’o found out the story was a hoax in late December and notified the University. Wasn’t this the perfect time to disclose to everyone that this was a hoax perpetrated on an unsuspecting athlete? Particularly, since Notre Dame was playing in the national championship game the first week of January. To paraphrase the Bible, “now the truth WAS known, so let it set you free”. Sure, there would have been questions, but there, also, would have been timely and, hopefully, appropriate answers.

Now those questions, we have been told will be asked by Katie Couric. The answers did not work so well for Armstrong.

We are left in both situations to believe that both these athletes and Notre Dame are not really upset with what they did, but that they got caught. They all need to read more passages from the Bible to get it!!

 


 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. My Super Bowl pick at the beginning of the year was San Francisco. There is hope.
  2. Some pundit called the Super Bowl the “Har-bowl” (Harbaugh vs Harbaugh). Clever. By the way, SF’s Jim Harbaugh was last year’s coach of the year. Should it go to brother, John, this year? It would keep peace in the house.
  3. Is San Francisco’s QB Colin Kaepernick in the same category as RG III and Andrew Luck or is he better? By the way, I would start my NFL team with Atlanta’s WR Julio Jones. He is amazing.
  4. There is a new sport that is catching on – it’s called the Tough Mudder. There are no winners and contestants help one another get through the course. It is a 12-mile extreme obstacle course which includes walking through a vat of ice, a crawl through thick mud with barbed wire hovering over your head, and another walk through more mud with live electrical wires (10,000 volts) dangling overhead. There are 53 events in 47 cities and 13,500 people signed up for a Tough Mudder event in Sarasota in early December. Up for it?
  5. The Lance Armstrong story this week made me think of an incident I had on a vacation cruise. My wife and I were invited to dine with the captain and other officers and guests. I asked the purser (the only American officer) to find out why and was told the captain had heard I was a sports announcer and he was a big sports fan. I was seated right next to him and all he wanted to talk about was Greg Lemond, the great American cyclist and an international icon. I had virtually no knowledge of cycling or of Lemond. I faked the conversation as best I could. Perhaps, the “truth would have set ME free.” Oh well, the escargot was good.

 

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 1-1) (88-54 for the season – 62%)

  • SAN FRANCISCO